Title:
Portable housing case for musical instrument
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable housing case particularly for use in receipt of a prescribed musical instrument is basically constituted by a pair of a base board and a top board, which are assembled together using hinges to form a shell, which can be freely closed or opened. The base board has a band-shaped hollow elongated in a longitudinal direction, and the top board has a band-shaped projection elongated in a longitudinal direction, wherein they are formed in prescribed dimensions to be engaged with each other when the case is stacked with the other case. Thus, it is possible to establish a stable stacking relationship between portable housing cases, regardless of sizes and shapes.



Inventors:
Hasebe, Mamoru (Hamamatsu-shi, JP)
Application Number:
10/318118
Publication Date:
01/15/2004
Filing Date:
12/13/2002
Assignee:
HASEBE MAMORU
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C11/00; A45C5/04; G10G7/00; (IPC1-7): A45C11/00
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
DE265146C
Primary Examiner:
LUONG, SHIAN TINH NHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BLANK ROME LLP (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A portable housing case comprising: a base board having a frame at a peripheral end portion thereof; a top board having a frame at a peripheral end portion thereof, which is hinged to the base board to form a shell, which can be freely closed or opened; a handle that is attached to the frame of the top board or the frame of the base board; and at least one lock mechanism arranged in connection with the frame of the top board or the frame of the base board, wherein a band-shaped hollow is formed on an exterior surface of the base board and is extended in a longitudinal direction, and a band-shaped projection is formed on an exterior surface of the top board and is extended in a longitudinal direction.

2. A portable housing case according to claim 1, wherein the band-shaped hollow is formed in prescribed dimensions to substantially match the band-shaped projection when engaged in stacking.

3. A portable housing case comprising: a pair of boards that are hinged to each other to form a shell, which can be freely closed or opened; a band-shaped hollow that is formed on an exterior surface of one of the boards and is extended in a longitudinal direction; and a band-shaped projection that is formed on an exterior surface of the other of the boards and is extended in a longitudinal direction, wherein the band-shaped hollow is formed in prescribed dimensions to substantially match the band-shaped projection when engaged in stacking.

4. A portable housing case according to claim 3, wherein the band-shaped hollow and the band-shaped projection are arranged at prescribed positions of the boards to establish symmetry with regard to a center axis passing through the center of gravity of the shell.

5. A portable housing case according to claim 3 or 4, wherein the boards are combined together using hinges, and wherein a handle and a lock mechanism are arranged in proximity to frames of the boards, which are arranged opposite to the hinges.

6. A portable housing case according to claim 3 or 4, wherein the band-shaped hollow has open ends in the longitudinal direction.

7. A portable housing case according to claim 3 or 4, wherein the band-shaped hollow has a prescribed width and a prescribed depth, which match a width and a height of the band-shaped projection.

8. A portable housing case according to claim 1 or 3, wherein the shell is shaped to receive a prescribed musical instrument.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to portable housing cases, in particular those for carrying musical instruments.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Conventionally, portable housing cases such as trunks are used for storage, receipt, and transportation of various types of musical instruments such as electronic keyboard instruments and recorders for music training, for example. These portable housing cases have specific stacking structures and may be made of shockproof materials such as ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) resins.

[0005] A conventional example of a trunk-type portable housing case will be described with reference to FIGS. 6A and 6B. This case is basically constituted by a base board 1 and a top board 2, which are accompanied by frames 1a and 2a respectively at prescribed peripheral end portions thereof. That is, the base board 1 and the top board 2 having hollow space are combined together using hinges 3 so as to form a shell, which can be freely opened or closed. The hinges 3 are arranged opposite to the frames 1a and 2a, between which a handle 4 having an appropriate shape suitable for a human hand, and lock mechanisms 5 are arranged. Thus, a person can easily hold the handle 4 and carry the case by hand.

[0006] The aforementioned portable housing case is made of ABS resins in consideration of various parameters such as formability in manufacturing, adaptability to variety of designs in manufacturing, and shockproof strength when used.

[0007] It is possible to arrange legs 6 in proximity to the exterior surfaces of the hinges 3 in order to allow the case to be vertically arranged on the floor and the like as necessary. A large-size case may further arrange castors (or small wheels) in order to allow the traction thereof.

[0008] The aforementioned portable housing case may have a specific stacking control or structure to maintain the stability in transportation when horizontally arranged and piled with the other cases of the same type.

[0009] According to the conventional stacking structure, projecting elements P made of soft rubbers or soft resins having appropriate thickness are adhered to four corners of the exterior surface of the base board 1. The projecting elements P may prevent the case from sliding away from the other case when horizontally arranged and piled together, and they also prevent scratches from being unexpectedly formed by surfaces of shells rubbing against each other.

[0010] Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 2001-292820 discloses another example of the portable housing case in which concavities or recesses are formed on the base board while convexities or projections are formed on the top board, wherein the recesses and projections are mutually engaged with each other when the case is horizontally arranged and piled together with the other case. Thus, it is possible to provide stacking abilities without damaging exterior designs. That is, the aforementioned case has a stable stacking ability, regardless of surface configurations of the base board and top board.

[0011] The aforementioned cases having stacking structures are used to receive musical instruments used in orchestras and are collectively transported by wagons, cargoes, carriers, and the like. In that case, these cases can be easily loaded into carriers in order without requiring large spaces therefor and without causing load shifts during transportation. Furthermore, the same advantages can be demonstrated in stock controls and exhibitions of prescribed goods in stores or shops using the aforementioned cases.

[0012] However, the conventional portable housing cases having stacking structures have drawbacks in that the number of parts must be increased in manufacturing due to the provision of additional parts such as projecting elements for stacking, which may increase the number of manufacturing processes and the manufacturing cost. In addition, users may be dissatisfied with exterior designs of the aforementioned cases, which may be visually deteriorated due to the provision of additional parts such as projecting elements.

[0013] Recent developments and improvements of resin materials (e.g., ABS resins) and forming techniques bring numerous types of ‘curved’ designs for trunks and cases, exteriors of which are partially or entirely curved in rounded shapes. Therefore, even though the cases having rounded shapes are accompanied with the aforementioned stacking members, they may not demonstrate satisfactory stability when horizontally arranged and piled together, which may readily result in load shifts during transportation.

[0014] The aforementioned Japanese Unexamined Publication No. 2001-29280 discloses a portable housing case in which in order to solve the aforementioned problems, corresponding recesses and projections, which match with each other when engaged, are arranged on the base board and the top board respectively. However, the stacking ability is only demonstrated in the case where the cases of the same type are piled together. In other words, the stacking ability cannot always be demonstrated when the cases of different types are piled together. In that case, it is difficult to secure a sufficient stability in transportation unless recesses and projections are arranged in the same positional relationship between the adjoining cases. Furthermore, the aforementioned drawbacks may cause unwanted restrictions in designs of cases.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0015] It is an object of the invention to provide a portable housing case that can secure stacking with the other case during transportation without deteriorating the exterior design. Herein, band-shaped stacking members engaged with each other are arranged opposite to each other on the base board and the top board of the portable housing case. Thus, this invention can reliably demonstrate a stable stacking ability even when cases of different sizes are piled or stacked with each other, regardless of the surface shapes of the base boards and top boards.

[0016] A portable housing case particularly for use in receipt of a prescribed musical instrument such as a trumpet and a drum is basically constituted by a pair of a base board and a top board, which are assembled together using hinges to form a shell, which can be freely closed or opened, wherein these two boards have stacking controls without arranging additional parts and without damaging exterior designs thereof.

[0017] Specifically, the base board has a band-shaped hollow elongated in a longitudinal direction thereof, and the top board has a band-shaped projection elongated in a longitudinal direction, wherein the band-shaped hollow and the band-shaped projection are engaged with each other when the case is stacked with the other one. To facilitate engagement between them and to establish a prescribed positional relationship between them, the prescribed standard is introduced with respect to the width, depth, and height in formation of the band-shaped hollow and band-shaped projection respectively.

[0018] That is, the band-shaped hollow and the band-shaped projection are both formed and elongated along the prescribed center axis passing through the center of gravity of the case in a three-dimensional configuration, for example.

[0019] Therefore, it is possible to establish a stable stacking relationship between the portable housing cases, regardless of sizes and shapes. This will noticeably reduce the probability of occurrence of load shifts and the like in loading and transportation of the portable housing cases, which are stacked together.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] These and other objects, aspects, and embodiments of the present invention will be described in more detail with reference to the following drawings, in which:

[0021] FIG. 1A is a front view of a portable housing case in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention;

[0022] FIG. 1B is a plan view of the portable housing case;

[0023] FIG. 1C is a bottom view of the portable housing case;

[0024] FIG. 2 is a side view of the portable housing case;

[0025] FIG. 3 is an exploded front view showing plural cases that are stacked together;

[0026] FIG. 4 is an exploded side view showing plural cases that are stacked together;

[0027] FIG. 5A diagrammatically shows a positional relationship between two cases of different sizes and shapes, which are stacked together;

[0028] FIG. 5B diagrammatically shows a positional relationship between three cases of different sizes and shapes, which are stacked together;

[0029] FIG. 6A is a front view showing the exterior appearance of a conventional portable housing case; and

[0030] FIG. 6B is a bottom view showing the exterior appearance of the conventional portable housing case, which arranges projecting elements for stacking with other cases.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0031] This invention will be described in further detail by way of examples with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0032] FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C are a front view, a plan view, and a bottom view of a portable housing case illustrated in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention, and FIG. 2 is a side view of the portable housing case.

[0033] That is, a portable housing case 10 is basically constituted by a base board 1 and a top board 2, which are accompanied with frames 1a and 2a respectively at prescribed peripheral end portions thereof. The base board 1 and the top board 2 having hollow space are combined together using hinges 3 so as to form a shell, which can be freely opened or closed. The hinges 3 are arranged opposite to the frames 1a and 2a, between which a handle 4 having an appropriate shape suiting a human hand, and lock mechanisms 5 are arranged. In addition, legs 6 can be also arranged in proximity to the exterior surfaces of the hinges 3 in order to allow the case 10 to be vertically arranged on the floor and the like as necessary.

[0034] The base board 1 and the top board 2 are both made of synthetic resins such as ABS resins. The portable housing case 10 constituted by the boards 1 and 2 can be assembled in such a way that after forming the boards 1 and 2 independently of each other, the boards 1 and 2 are joined together using prescribed joints such as hinges. Alternatively, the boards 1 and 2 are joined together by hinge formation in which they are partially thinned at joint portions thereof and are integrally combined together.

[0035] The aforementioned boards 1 and 2 are asymmetrically formed in mold processes in such a way that a band-shaped hollow 11 is formed on the base board 1 and is extended in a longitudinal direction about a center axis X1 (see FIG. 1C), while a band-shaped projection 21 is formed on the top board 2 and is extended in a longitudinal direction about a center axis X2 (see FIG. 1B). Herein, the band-shaped hollow 11 has a width W1 with respect to the center axis X1, and the band-shaped projection 21 has a width W2 with respect to the center axis X2. As shown in FIG. 2, the hollow 11 and the projection 21 are arranged opposite to each other and are adjusted in positional relationships in such a way that they can be engaged with each other when two cases are stacked together.

[0036] In the above, the width W1 of the band-shaped hollow 11 substantially matches the width W2 of the band-shaped projection 21 in dimensions. Alternatively it is possible to enlarge the width W1 of the band-shaped hollow 11 to be slightly larger than the width W2 of the band-shaped projection 21. In addition, square sides or corners are adequately subjected to chambering.

[0037] A depth d of the band-shaped hollow 11 substantially matches a height t of the band-shaped projection 21. Alternatively, it is possible to enlarge the depth d of the band-shaped hollow 11 to be slightly larger than the height t of the band-shaped projection 21.

[0038] The present embodiment is basically designed in such a way that the band-shaped hollow 11 is extended in the longitudinal direction of the base board 1 approximately about the center axis X1, and the band-shaped projection 21 is extended in the longitudinal direction of the top board 2 approximately about the center axis X2. Of course, this invention is not necessarily limited to the present embodiment; that is, it is possible to adequately modify or change the hollow 11 and the projection 21 in positions. In addition, the base board 1 does not necessarily arrange a single hollow 111 thereon, and the top board 2 does not necessarily arrange a single projection 21 thereon. That is, it is possible to arrange multiple hollows on the base board 1 and multiple projections on the top board 2. Therefore, it is possible to adequately determine the positions and the number of the hollow and projection formed on the base and top board in response to the overall design of the case and its manufacturing cost.

[0039] FIGS. 3 and 4 show plural cases that are stacked together by way of an engagement established between the hollow and projection thereof. In FIG. 3, two cases 10 and 10′ are horizontally arranged and stacked together in such a way that the band-shaped hollow 11 of the base board 1 of the case 10′ in the upper position is engaged with the band-shaped projection 21 of the top board 2 of the case 10 in the lower position. Thus, the present embodiment allows plural cases to be easily stacked together.

[0040] When two cases are stacked together, the band-shaped hollow and band-shaped projection are engaged with each other along the longitudinal direction, wherein the depth of the band-shaped hollow substantially matches the height of the band-shaped projection. Therefore, even if the surfaces of the shells are formed by curved or rounded boards, the adjoining cases can be reliably stacked together in a stable manner without causing slippage therebetween.

[0041] Suppose that two cases 10 and 10′ having different lengths are horizontally arranged and piled together as shown in FIG. 3, wherein a satisfactory stacking relationship may be established when an engagement relationship is securely established between the band-shaped hollow 11 and the band-shaped projection 21, which are formed the base board 1 and the top board 2 that are placed opposite to each other and is directly adjacent to each other. Herein, the case 10′ has a longer length in the longitudinal direction compared with the other one, wherein it is preferable to provide openings with respect to both ends of the band-shaped hollow 11 so that the case 10′ can be arranged intermediately within the cases stacked together. In contrast, the band-shaped projection 21 can be decreased in length compared with the band-shaped hollow 11 in consideration of exterior designs, for example. Herein, it is possible to form tapered slopes on end portions of the band-shaped projection 21 in the longitudinal direction. Of course, the band-shaped projection 21 is not necessarily elongated in a band shape entirely from one end to another in the longitudinal direction. In order to achieve a satisfactory stacking stability, it is preferable to form the projection having a band shape, which is elongated in a certain length.

[0042] The present embodiment allows not only the cases of different lengths but also the cases of different sizes to be easily stacked together.

[0043] In order to achieve the aforementioned stacking functions, regardless of the overall shapes of the shells, all kinds of cases should be designed in consideration of the following factors.

[0044] (i) The same standard is established in dimensions with respect to the width ‘w’, depth ‘d’, and height ‘t’ in formation of the band-shaped hollow 11 and the band-shaped projection 21.

[0045] (ii) The band-shaped hollow 11 and the band-shaped projection 21 are both arranged with respect to a prescribed center axis Xg(X10, X20, X30) passing through a center of gravity of each case in a three-dimensional configuration.

[0046] The aforementioned factors will be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 5A and 5B, which show that plural cases can be stacked together regardless of vertical positioning thereof under the prescribed condition where the same dimensions are substantially secured in the width ‘w’, depth ‘d’, and height ‘t’ with respect to the band-shaped hollow 11 and the band-shaped projection 21 respectively. Specifically, FIG. 5A shows a stacking relationship between two cases, namely, a trumpet case 10 whose shell has an elongated trapezoidal shape receiving a trumpet, and a drum case 20 whose shell has an approximately circular shape receiving a drum (set), for example.

[0047] FIG. 5B shows stacking relationships between three cases, namely, a long-length case 10, and small-size cases 20 and 30 of different sizes and shapes, wherein the small-size cases 20 and 30 are both together with the long-length case 10.

[0048] The aforementioned figures are illustrated in such a way that the band-shaped hollow and band-shaped projection are both arranged approximately at the center position in the longitudinal direction with respect to each case. Of course, the position and the number are not necessarily limited as illustrated in these figures with respect to each of the band-shaped hollow and band-shaped projection. That is, the present embodiment requires that the band-shaped hollow and band-shaped projection be arranged at the prescribed positions establishing symmetry with regard to the center axis Xg passing though the center of gravity of each case in a three-dimensional configuration, so that the number of the band-shaped hollow(s) and band-shaped projection(s) is correspondingly determined.

[0049] As described above, the present embodiment can reliably establish desired positional relationships between portable housing cases of different sizes and shapes, which are stacked together, wherein the portable housing cases receiving musical instruments and the like can be realized without damaging designs thereof.

[0050] In the above, the portable housing case is basically designed to receive a prescribed musical instrument such as a trumpet and a drum. Of course, the portable housing case of this invention is not necessarily limited to receipt of a musical instrument and the like; therefore, it can be used in other purposes such as a traveling case, a suitcase, and the like.

[0051] As described heretofore, this invention has a variety of effects and technical features, which will be described below.

[0052] (1) A portable housing case particularly for use in receipt of a prescribed musical instrument is basically constituted by a pair of a base board and a top board, which are assembled together using hinges to form a shell, which can be freely closed or opened, wherein these two boards are accompanied with stacking controls. Specifically, the base board has a band-shaped hollow elongated in a longitudinal direction thereof, and the top board has a band-shaped projection elongated in a longitudinal direction thereof, wherein the band-shaped hollow and the band-shaped projection are engaged with each other when the case is stacked with the other one. That is, stacking controls are realized by merely forming the band-shaped hollow and band-shaped projection on the base board and the top board respectively without using additional parts therefor. Hence, it is possible not to increase the manufacturing cost for realizing stacking controls with respect the portable housing cases, which are stacked together as necessary. The aforementioned stacking structure can be easily embodied in any types of the cases such as curved or round-shaped cases and small-size cases for receiving small musical instruments such as recorders for music training without deteriorating exterior designs.

[0053] (2) When two cases are stacked together, the band-shaped hollow and the band-shaped projection may easily match in positioning and may be easily engaged with each other along the longitudinal direction. This provides a superior effect in stacking, in which the stacked cases are hardly affected by movements, shaking, and vibrations in loading to avoid occurrence of load shifts during transportation. This invention can be easily realized by introducing the prescribed standard into any types of the cases with respect to dimensions regarding the width, depth, and height of the band-shaped hollow and band-shaped projection. Therefore, it is possible to establish a stable stacking relationship between the cases of different sizes and shapes with ease.

[0054] As this invention may be embodied in several forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, the present embodiment is therefore illustrative and not restrictive, since the scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims rather than by the description preceding them, and all changes that fall within metes and bounds of the claims, or equivalents of such metes and bounds are therefore intended to be embraced by the claims.